The Pop Art of Franco Angeli
4th October – 4th November 2005
Franco Angeli was one of the most important figures of the “Piazza del Popolo School” later called Italian Pop Art.
At the end of the century, Mario Schifano and Tano Festa were much talked of, and for a while one of the most important figures of the “Piazza del Popolo School” later called “Italian Pop Art” was ignored: Franco Angeli.
Franco Angeli (Rome 1935 – 1988) can be considered one of the media fathers, because of his delicate attention to the language of communications, much more than Schifano, who cut inroads into the specific language of television, striking the target more precisely but strongly reducing the field of action, and unlike Tano Festa, who created a “mystification” of the image to make it unrecognisable. Many thought they could see, in Angeli’s works, a simple, clean painting and nothing more. The truth is that Franco Angeli revisited and re-proposed all the great 1900’s painting: the dots that invade some of his canvases pay homage to divisionism, the drips that descend are a tribute to Byzantine painting. Aeroplanes, obelisks, puppets, eagles, wolves, half dollars, hammer and sickle, swastikas and geometries appear in his works in different periods, representing parts of a life lived, of journalistic news, which seem to be the exploded firmament of a great fable of life but also the approaching fear of illness and death and of ill ease for the enacting of a role in which he felt restrained but from which he never managed to free himself.
Immersed in an intense present that indicates the opening of a radiant season, in November 1988, he died. In 1989 the archive for the publication of Franco Angeli was established and, finally, in 2002, more precisely in the month of February, the first volume “Franco Angeli – Opere” from Angiolino Calestani’s archive was presented in Milan by Francesco Galli. From 6 October next, to celebrate its first anniversary, the Golden Tulip Aemilia Hotel will present an exhibition dedicated to this artist, organised by the Catùs gallery, with works of the 1970s and 1980s and other historical works of the artist dating back to the late 1960s, which will transform parts of the hotel into a special art gallery. This is an excellent occasion for Pop Art collectors and lovers to see works of great importance side by side, together with the deserved recognition that is starting to be given to the artist, but the most significant thing is the possibility to see and interpret the works of this noteworthy Roman artist and “character”.